recently held a writing contest and on July 2 the site published its 3rd place winner Robert ‘BJ’ Rainbow’s story titled What Does It Mean to be an American Indian Veteran in Modern Day.

In the story Rainbow describes the reasons for his enlisting and what serving in the United States Marine Corps means to him.

Rainbow says, “An ‘Akicita’ or warrior must live their life close to death, know what it means to have compassion, and have a love for the great people of the earth. I am forever willing to give myself for the people. ‘Nake Nula Waun’ means ‘I am always ready, at all times, for anything’ this describes most warriors’ lives. Akicita life can be difficult because there are things that our warriors wished they had not seen, and places that they wished they had not been. Being a warrior is not about being coarse or un-emotional. Being a warrior is about having compassion, love, respect, and walking with humility. Being a warrior is spiritual.”

He goes on to say how thanks should be given to those who’ve served not just on Veterans and Memorial Days but every day.

Read the full story here.